The medical officers from Tanzania will step in to address Kenya’s poor doctor-to-patient ratio and burn-out of Kenyan doctors due to long working hours.
For instance, the Casualty Department at the Kenyatta National Hospital requires 35 doctors but has only 14, as a result, the difference is covered by doctors from private practice also known as locums.
The Health CS dismissed claims by the doctors’ union that there are 1,400 jobless Kenyan doctors, saying that they were unemployed “by choice” after resigning from the public sector or joining the private sector.
“The impression that we are bringing foreign doctors while ours are on the streets, is an absolute lie,” he clarified.
EMPLOYING NON CITIZENS
On concerns about going against Public Service Commission regulations on employing non-citizens when there are citizens with appropriate qualifications, the Health CS said: “We do not have the skills, even with doctors from the private sector, to address the shortage as all doctors are absorbed. It then behoves us to look for that skill elsewhere.”
Dr Mailu also said that Tanzania produces more doctors than it can absorb, and Kenya has the capacity to absorb professionals from the region without the need to retrain or examine them further due to a standardised medical curriculum.
State House on Sunday said the recruitment of doctors from Tanzania would be “cost-effective and sustainable” as they will not have access to the mortgage, car loan packages or pension offered under Kenya’s public service scheme.
The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Board, said in a statement the foreign medics — who should be East Africans — will have to pay about Sh5,000 for application, and another Sh30,000 for evaluation of their application papers.